I am a blog ambassador for Lakeshore and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine. The sweepstakes prize is provided for the winner free of charge from Lakeshore.
Do you let your kids venture into the land of finger painting? Many parents are scared to give kids any type of paint, let alone finger paints! So tell me, are you part of the #nopaint parenting crowd? If so, I hope to convince you to at least try finger painting with your littles…and if you’re still a little nervous after reading this post, I’m leaving you another fun option at the end of this article (along with a chance to win a $25 gift card to stock up on art supplies from Lakeshore Learning!).
Fulfill Sensory Needs With Finger Painting
Supply Pictured: Washable Fingerpaint from Lakeshore
You may have heard it before, but kids (and especially young kids) learn best with rich sensory input. Think about it- how many times have you told them not to touch Great Aunt Helen’s ceramic figurines? Or Grandma Ruth’s hanging Italian tapestries? Countless. Kids are drawn to touching EVERYTHING. They don’t quite understand the words “fragile” “delicate” or “expensive,” but they do understand the smooth ceramic feels nice against the fingertips and the unique tapestries have an interesting bumpy texture. Through touch, kids are able to make sense of their world- what materials are made of and how they feel helps to refine their senses and begin differentiating objects through tactile input.
Finger painting gives your child a “yes zone” where they are allowed to touch and learn through their senses! They can explore the wet sensation of paint and the smooth texture of special finger painting paper. They can process just how these two materials interact with each other as well (does the paint absorb? goes it glide?) Let kids at it and watch how intrigued they are at all the sensory input they receive through finger painting!
Encourage Creativity with Finger Painting
Paint brushes can be hard to manipulate. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving kids a chance to practice fine motor skills when they use paint brushes, but sometimes it’s nice to take away anything that may stand in the way of creativity (hello frustrated toddler who can’t quite grip the brush), and just encourage creating! Finger paints let kids just dive right into the process of creating art without worry about finger placement and wrist flexion.
Build Self-Esteem by Finger Painting
Does your child struggle with self esteem? It may sound crazy, but even toddlers can suffer with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-doubt. I’ve seen my kids get frustrated when they want to recreate some specific picture and they can’t quite get it “right”. The focus in our house has always been on process over product, but we still have moments when my kids are focused on some specific outcome and get angry that they “just can’t do it!” (insert pouty faces and maybe even a thrown paint brush here!). When you take away painting tools, though, something special happens – kids worry less about product and focus more on the experience. They smear paint and cover their paper. They mix and layer colors without anxiety. They enjoy the process. And when they’re done they have pride in a masterpiece that was literally created with their own two hands <3
Still feeling nervous about finger painting? Try this…
If after reading all the above benefits of finger painting, some of you may still feel nervous. The possibility of a mess just gets you. Or maybe it’s not you who needs convincing, maybe your kids have a sensory aversion to slopping their fingers around in paint. I get that too. Here’s an option that may be more comfortable for you both…
Giant washable ink pads are a great way to let kids explore “painting” with less mess than finger paints! Kids can start by painting with their fingerprints, then move on to whole-hand exploration! I LOVE that these ink pads are big enough to encourage hands-on process art in a neat way <3
Since we just finished a finger painting session, my kids requested we use some tools with our giant ink pads.
How fun are the designs made with these rollers?!?
My kids really got into making all sorts of track with them:
So which activity will you start with? Ink Pad painting or finger painting?
For a chance to win a $25 gift card to Lakeshore Learning, leave a comment below telling me which Lakeshore art product you’d love to have for your kids!
*Winner to be chosen at random on 10/31/2016 and notified by e-mail.
Can’t wait to see if you’ve won? Use this 20% off coupon now to buy what you need for all your painting needs!